Sunday, January 8, 2012
“My tribe has a taboo against eating pig, so I don’t eat pig.” The girl informs those of us at her table.
“Did you know hot dogs have pig in them? I didn’t know that until I had lived here in America for a couple years.” Responds a Malagasy guy.
“Hot dogs have pig?! Oh dear – I eat hot dogs sometimes!” The girl looks slightly troubled.
“Yeah – another one I learned was ham. Ham is pig, too!” The boy puts his arms wide in the ‘who knew?!’ position.
“Oh no – I eat ham sandwiches every day!!!” The girl says with a look of horror on her face.
It has been a blast getting to meet some of the Malagasy students here in town. I have been especially amused by their initial thoughts of and adjustments to America. They arrived at the university a mere week before classes began (in English, of course), barely knowing the language! They said the first month they were here they just hoped to get in line at the cafeteria behind someone who wanted a yummy meal, because all they knew how to say was, “The same!”
My family very sweetly went along with my idea to invite all of the students over (we had about 20 people for supper) to our house. It was fun showing them my pictures from Mada because I have been to several of their home towns and they were excited to show their friends where they lived. One guy also knew one of my Malagasy friends in my photos (the one above)!
Some of the students want to head back to Madagascar upon graduation, others want to visit then return, and still others want to stay in America. They are a diverse group, but all agreed that, for Madagascar to develop well, people (especially in government) need to have a heart and mind change.
Thanks for praying for my language ability. A bunch of vocab came flooding back as I was speaking with them, and several of them complimented my language skills (following the normal pleasant Malagasy culture they would have regardless, but hey, I’m choosing to believe some of them were sincere!), so I could tell you guys were lifting me up. :)